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Transforming Lives

Building Futures

Annual Report 2017 - 2018

 
 
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To support individuals with mental health and cognitive challenges to live well within their communities.

 
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A supportive and inclusive society in which all people have equal opportunity to live, thrive and enjoy the full benefits of belonging within their communities.

 
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I am very proud of my boy, Marcus, and Cota Health. He has complex needs and they provide excellent care. He speaks highly of Bailey House and it’s staff. I wouldn’t think twice about recommending Cota and Bailey House to the next person who asks me
— Betty (Marcus’ Mom)
 

Pictured: (L) Mark and Dolly (Supportive Housing Workers) and (R) Marcus (resident, Bailey House)

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On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Leadership Team at Cota, we are pleased to present you with our 2017-18 Annual Report. As Cota enters its 45th year of operation in 2018, it is cause for reflection about all of the changes that have occurred at Cota and the many accomplishments our organization has achieved throughout its history. We are very fortunate to have benefited from such committed staff and the support of so many clients, partner organizations and funders working for and with us throughout our journey. We are eternally grateful for all of the dedication, support and encouragement you have offered to Cota along the way.

In 2016 we proudly launched our 2016-2021 Strategic Plan. We are now two years into pursuing these strategic objectives and are very happy with our progress to date. We hope that this Annual Report will provide you with some insight on the work that we are doing on these fronts.

Moving forward, Cota will continue to provide high-quality innovative services, in collaboration with our community partners, in order to meet the needs of people living with mental health and cognitive challenges. We look forward to actively partnering with clients and their families in our service planning and delivery and to building on the positive relationships we have established with so many of you as we continue to transform lives and build better futures together.

Sincerely,

 
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Paul Bruce

Executive Director

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Gregory Hendry

Board President

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Cota’s Strategic Plan for 2016-2021 resulted from a careful review of influencing factors in our external environment and a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process over a twelve-month period. Since its launch in 2016, Cota has made many advances in all of our four strategic pillars: Inspire Positive Change in the Lives of the People We Support, Invest in Our Staff, Drive Necessary System Transformation, and Demonstrate Our Value and Attract Support. This report focuses on some of our success and impacts to date. Please visit our website for a full overview of our Strategic Plan.


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We are doing so by responding to what clients told us in the engagement sessions, committing to improved ongoing client and family engagement and through our unwavering dedication to the provision of safe, high quality services.


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We recognize that the overall quality of our services is linked to the nature of Cota’s relationship with staff, how we support them to do their work and how we value and recognize their contributions. As such, we have been investing in our staff through relevant staff training, identifying and reducing barriers to efficiency, implementing a revitalized wellness and recognition program, and improving our ability to support clients with complex presentations.


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We are driving necessary system transformation to ensure that people in need of service receive improved/faster access to those services, closer to home, through better coordinated and integrated care. We are taking an active leadership role and seeking out opportunities to improve community-based service delivery while protecting the sustainability of our publicly-funded health and social service systems.


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Cota has been performing great work in our community for 45 years. We provide high quality services and have a tremendous impact in the lives of the individuals we serve. Unfortunately, we haven’t always done a great job of conveying the results of our work. As such, we have stepped up our efforts to actively communicate the positive impact of Cota’s work by enhancing awareness online and seeking opportunities to speak about challenges that affect our clients and the value of community based services.

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in fiscal 2017 - 2018 over

 
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INSPIRING POSITIVE CHANGE

IN THE LIVEs OF THE PEOPLE WE SUPPORT

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As a result of extensive consultations with Cota clients leading to the development of our 2016-2021 Strategic Plan, Cota committed to several strategic objectives that, in part, included:

Providing self-contained rooms (with en-suite washrooms), bachelor and/or one bedroom units within all Cota sitebased supportive housing programs: In fiscal 2017-18 renovations to occur at our Bailey House location which resulted in the creation of self-contained rooms with en-suite washrooms and all net-new units secured though expansion of our supportive housing portfolio were selfcontained bachelor and/or one-bedroom units.

Creating more supportive housing options for people waiting for those services: Cota was successful in securing new funding to offer housing forty-three (43) more people in 2017- 18. This was made possible through ten (10) net -new Housing Allowances that we secured through the City of Toronto, and thirty-three (33) net-new rent supplements and related support funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care and the Central and Toronto Central LHINs.

Assisting, where possible, with better access to food and improved nutrition: We made significant progress in this area with our Short-Term Residential Beds (STRB) program and our Acquired Brain Injury Adult Day Service in fiscal 2017-18.

Enhancing service user engagement and involvement within the organization: Our efforts in 2017-18 related to: (1) familiarizing ourselves with new best practice standards that have been introduced by Accreditation Canada, (2) facilitating training for our Leadership Team and our Board of Directors, (3) ensuring that our Board of Directors composition intentionally includes people with lived experience and their families, and (4) coordinating the development of a Client and Family Centred Care Advisory Committee.


READ MORE HERE


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INVESTING IN OUR STAFF
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Cota’s success over the past 45 years is firmly rooted in the efforts that our staff put forward every day to make a positive impact in the lives of the people we support. Throughout the past several years of fiscal restraint it has been difficult to acknowledge these contributions in the form of compensation increases while maintaining operational stability. While we have managed to provide some compensation adjustments, we have also focused on other areas that staff identified to be important to them, such as:

Introducing new competencies (e.g., addiction and nursing specialties) to our Integrated Services Teams (ISTs) and collaborating with other organizations in order to better support people with complex support needs.

Revitalizing our staff recognition and wellness initiatives.

Offering new training curricula aimed at assisting staff to learn about emerging best practices and acquire new skills.

Reducing barriers to efficiency through geographic reorganization of catchment areas, relocation of service teams, streamlining internal processes and providing staff with the technology and equipment that they need to carry out their work in the most efficient manner possible.


Read More Here


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DRIVING NECESSARY SYSTEM TRANSFORMATION
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In keeping with our desire to Inspire Change, Cota committed to taking an active role in driving necessary system transformation. We did so this past year by:

Facilitating Change by assuming new responsibilities and services divested to us by our funders. This included assuming enhanced responsibilities within our Transitional Aged Youth program and the adoption of an Acquired Brain Injury Behaviour Therapy Support Service.

Following Through on our commitment to support Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) with their transformation agenda that has called, in part, for the introduction of supports to vulnerable tenant populations. We did so through our participation in two (2) new partnership initiatives: The Community Paramedic Led Clinic and The TCHC Lawrence East Partnership.

Working Collaboratively with the Access Point and our colleague organizations to improve access processes and reduce wait times for those seeking mental health case management support.

Playing an Active Leadership Role in facilitating the development of innovative approaches to align health system responses with Emergency Reception Centres. These centres are opened in response to emergencies that result in the anticipated prolonged displacement of large numbers of people from their residences (e.g., an apartment building fire). We collaborated with the Toronto Central LHIN, the City of Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management, the Canadian Red Cross and a number of other colleague organizations and the response framework was endorsed by the Toronto Central LHIN in 2017. Moving forward, the Gerstein Crisis Centre will be leading the coordination and mobilization of health system responses and Cota will be one of several organizations contributing support. Cota was happy to play a role in facilitating the development of this response framework.


Read More Here


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DEMONSTRATING OUR VALUE
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We take pride in knowing that we have a tremendous positive impact in the lives of the individuals we serve. We are committed to continuous quality improvement and strive to deliver our services to the highest possible standard. We are presently accredited with Accreditation Canada and have spent considerable time in fiscal 2017- 18 acquainting ourselves with new standards that they have introduced which have challenged us to become even better. We are encouraged and excited to improve our practices, where needed, in order to meet these new standards and have been working diligently to implement improvements in advance of our upcoming on-site review in the fall of 2018.

We have also stepped up our efforts to speak about the challenges that affect our clients, the innovative ways in which we are attempting to address those challenges and the value of community-based services in general. We have been happy to lend our support to various advocacy initiatives and presentations to key stakeholders in collaboration with our colleague organizations and to present information about Cota’s services at various conferences. In total our staff presented on a variety of topics at over fifteen conferences and forums in fiscal 2017-18.

You may have also noticed that we have enhanced our efforts to convey the impact of our services through various social media outlets, such as YouTube and Twitter. If you haven’t, please check us out at:

In addition, if you would like to receive regular updates about developments at Cota, you can subscribe to receive our newsletter Get Cota Connected by opting to subscribe to our newsletter here:


Read More Here

 
 

 
Great newsletter and great news about Cota. You have a good PR team that is capturing impactful stories.
— Marissa Bastidas, Executive Director Accommodation, Information and Support Inc. ("AIS")
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board of directors

president

Gregory Hendry

 

past president

Sundeep Sodhi

 

vice-president

Carolyn Cornford

 

Treasurer

Alain Mootoo

 

directors

Gregory Banfield

Melanie Towell

Rachel Cooper

Steven Torresan

Mallory Smith

Karim Bhimji

Jeffrey Livingston

 

community partner

Toms Lokmanis

executive leadership

executive director

Paul Bruce

 

senior director, clinical operations & quality improvement

Sylvia Starosta

 

director, financial and administration

Matthew Chan

 

director, people + culture

Mary Modeste

 

director, developmental & abi services

Paul Van de Laar

 
I thank God everyday for my case manager, Jennifer, and Cota. They changed my life for the better. I’m so blessed.
— Eva (Left, Cota client)
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Cota’s accomplishments are often the result of formal partnerships and successful collaborations that we have with other organizations. Some of Cota’s key collaborations in fiscal year 2017-2018 involved the following partner organizations

Across Boundaries

Canadian Mental Health Association – Toronto Branch

Fred Victor

Good Sheppard Non-Profit Homes Toronto

Habitat Services

Hong Fook Mental Health Association

Humber River Hospital

John Howard Society of Toronto

Mainstay Housing

Neighbourhood Link Support Services

North York General Hospital

Parkdale Community Health Centre

Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities

Second Harvest

St. Joseph’s Health Centre

St. Michael’s Hospital

Surrey Place Centre

Toronto Community Housing Corporation

Toronto North Support Services

Toronto Paramedic Services

Toronto Public Health

Toronto Public Library

VHA Home HealthCare

Vita Community Living Services

West Park Healthcare Centre

 
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